Discover the mystical kingdom of Myanmar and uncover its hidden wonders in style. One of the finest ways to appreciate the stunning scenery and ancient Burmese culture is to do it from the water: travel aboard luxury cruisers and stylish liveaboard yachts to see Myanmar from a different angle, as you glide along her rivers, lakes and coastlines.
Whether you retire each night to your floating cabin or prefer to alight and spend your evenings in comfortable hotels, we have put together our top picks for cruising the waters of beautiful Burma.
Cruise in Luxury
Venture into Myanmar’s scenic waterways on the stately and elegant Orcaella by Belmond. Equipped with pool, gym and well-being zone, this boat will maintain your state of relaxation and reinvigoration, so you can fully enjoy the delights of excursions led by local experts onto the beautiful and fascinating lands at which you alight.
Spend 12 nights exploring the rugged scenery and sleepy villages lining the banks of the Chindwin or eight gliding along the Ayeyarwady, both itineraries concluding in breath-taking Bagan, or wend your way around the gorges of the north. Capture gorgeous sunsets from the top deck lounge bar as you sip cocktails and share tales of your adventures in the restaurant.
For shorter stays, step aboard the luxurious Road to Mandalay, its lengthy bow languishing in the waters of the mighty Ayeyarwady, and settle into your stylish Belmond cabin.
Choose from two-, three- and four-night adventures and a one-week journey, taking in the beautiful landscape between Bagan and Mandalay, delving deep into the history and culture of Myanmar thanks to talks and tours from your on-board guides. Sun yourself on the rooftop deck, with a dip in the pool to cool off, and be enchanted by nightly traditional entertainment.
For the ultimate in service and comfort, sail Myanmar’s rivers on the fabulous Sanctuary Ananda. With just 20 cabins, all of which boast river views and a private balcony, you won’t miss a moment of the countryside.
Besides fascinating trips to shore to explore the treasures of the banks of the Ayeyarwady and the Chindwin, there are a myriad of activities and amenities to keep you occupied on board. From sunrise yoga to seminars in the lounge and indulgent treatments in the spa, it’s a floating world of wonders.
Alternatively, for the freedom to explore more open waters, hop onto your private live-aboard and sail the the Burmese Andaman to discover the limestone islands of the Mergui Archipelago.
From Kyat Mauk island, north of Phuket in Thailand, glide around this lost cluster of tropical beaches lined with pure white sand, backed by craggy cliffs and set with mystical caves. The islands are surrounded by soft corals, so launch yourself overboard for uninterrupted diving or snorkelling and come face to face with the colorful world beneath these crystal waters. Day and night dives will reveal stingrays, turtles, reef sharks, seahorses and countless varieties of colorful fish.
Get tips from the communities of Sea Gypsies – or Moken – who call these waters home and can dive to impressive depths with no equipment. Lounge on board, sample delicious fresh seafood and see this stunning scenery – both above and below the waterline – before the rest of the world’s divers catch on.
River by Day, Land by Night
If you prefer a rather more amphibious experience, why not spend your evenings relaxing in luxury hotels on land, experiencing aquatic Myanmar by day?
Discover the charms of remote and beautiful Putao in the country’s northernmost reaches, from the rustic and cozy comfort of Malikha Lodge. Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy of Aman fame, it sits above the Nam Lang River, with stunning views of the wilderness for miles around – all of which is yours to explore.
Take an elephant trek through the waters and across the rice paddies, raft along the Nam Lang and enjoy a picnic on the banks; cruise along the Malikha river as views of waterside villages, nestled in lush green hills, glide by. Days on the water are rounded off by evenings spent around roaring fires with delicious dishes of local fare at the lodge, under starry Burmese skies.
On a whirlwind tour of the marvels of Myanmar, from beautiful Bagan to relaxing Ngapali, take the opportunities to marvel at the delights of the Ayeyarwady River, enjoying a sedate sail at sunset or a speedboat blitz to the ancient little town of Mingun to see the world’s largest functioning bronze bell. Set a course across the glassy waters of Inle Lake and down Indein Creek to reach Indein village, where the ancient pagoda complex is filled with hundreds of 16th-century stupas. Take a leisurely daytime cruise among Inle’s floating gardens and catch a glimpse of the area’s unique one-legged fishermen, who create a postcard-perfect picture as they work.